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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-06-05

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] UNFICYP - UNSG REPORT
  • [02] CYPRUS - EUROZONE - ECOFIN
  • [03] CYPRUS UNIVERSITY - LATVIAN PRESIDENT
  • [04] CYPRUS - GSSE GAMES 2009

  • [01] UNFICYP - UNSG REPORT

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that differences remain between the two sides in Cyprus concerning the interpretation of the 8 July Agreement, most notably on what constitutes a day-to-day matter, and the mechanism for resolving disagreements.

    Despite the fact that the UN Secretary General report on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus has not yet been submitted to the Security Council, CNA has been informed that in his report, Ban also said that despite the commitment of the leaders of the two communities in July 2006 to ensuring that the right atmosphere prevails for the process to be successful, including by putting an end to the so-called blame game, the two sides continued to engage in mutual recriminations throughout the reporting period.

    On July 8, 2006, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Talat, in the presence of the then UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrabim Gambari, reached an agreement providing for the concurrent establishment of working groups to address substantive aspects of the Cyprus problem and technical committees to deal with the day-to-day problems that affect the people, as well as Confidence Building Measures.

    Reliable sources have told CNA that in his report, Ban also said that over the past six months, his Special Representative to Cyprus Michael Moller has continued efforts aimed at facilitating the implementation of the 8 July Agreement through intensive discussions with the two leaders and their representatives.

    Thus far, fourteen meetings of the Coordinating Committee, comprising the advisers of the two leaders and my Special Representative, have been convened in addition to a number of bilateral meetings between the Special Representative and each side. The main objective of the Coordination Committee has been to agree on the modalities for the launching of the bi-communal working groups which will deal with substantive issues, and the bi-communal technical committees which will discuss issues affecting the day-to-day life of the people, he added.

    The UNSG noted that there is a broad consensus on the way forward, based on the procedural clarifications and agreements, including preliminary agreement on the list of issues for the technical committees and the working groups, noting however that differences remain concerning the interpretation of the Agreement, most notably on what constitutes a day-to-day matter, and the mechanism for resolving disagreements.

    He added that although an understanding ad referendum was reached at the Coordination Committee meetings on 9 and 10 March, it foundered on the above points.

    Ban also said in his report that the trend towards increased construction on the Turkish Cypriot side continues to be a cause of concern, as it may complicate efforts towards a comprehensive settlement. UNFICYP received complaints from the Greek Cypriot side that inhabited houses in Rizokarpaso belonging to Greek Cypriots are being demolished. He noted that UNFICYP has confirmed this and has protested to the Turkish Cypriot side the practice of demolishing houses without the owners consent.

    He added that UNFICYP personnel faced difficulties accessing the Greek Cypriot community in the Karpas area, with restrictions being placed by local police on home visits without prior clearance adding that UNFICYP has protested these new restrictions.

    Ban expressed the firm belief that the responsibility of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves, noting that the UN remains committed to supporting a political process and facilitating reconciliation. Referring to the EU aid package for the Turkish Cypriot community, Ban said that the purpose of this assistance is to help reduce the socio-economic disparities between the two sides, and it should therefore be considered as a positive step towards lifting the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, as called for by my predecessor in his report of 28 May 2004 by which I stand.

    As regards the presence of UNFICYP in Cyprus, Ban said that the continued involvement of the international community in Cyprus, through UNFICYP, at least in its current form, should not be taken for granted, adding that after 43 years of presence in Cyprus, the value added of UNFICYP, particularly in the absence of significant progress on the political process, is increasingly being questioned by various actors in the international community.

    At the same time he noted that in the absence of a comprehensive settlement, the presence of UNFICYP on the island remains important and recommended that the Security Council extend the mandate of the Force by a period of six months, until 15 December 2007.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

    [02] CYPRUS - EUROZONE - ECOFIN

    Eurogroup Finance Ministers have decided unanimously to suggest to ECOFIN the accession of Cyprus and Malta to the Eurozone as of January 1, 2008. Chairman of Eurogroup and Luxembourgs Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has told reporters after the meeting, which preceded todays ECOFIN session, that ministers decided to propose Cyprus and Maltas accession to the eurozone.

    He said he had no doubt that European leaders will accept the suggestion for the two countries accession on 1st of January 2008, adding that Cyprus and Malta will be invited to take part in the Eurozone ministers meeting in September. EU Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Joaquin Almunia described the decision as very easy because, as he said, both countries fulfilled the criteria and had a positive suggestion by the European Commission and the European Central Bank. On the contrary, he added, last year there were problems with one of the two candidate countries applying at the time with Lithuania being rejected due to high inflation while Slovenia was accepted.

    The Eurogroup ministers decision will take an official form today at the Council of the European Union Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) meeting which, in turn, will make a suggestion to the European Council meeting of June 21-22 to take the political decision. In July, ECOFINs Council of Ministers will ratify the accession of the two countries in the Eurozone, simultaneously locking Cyprus and Maltas currency against the Euro.

    [03] CYPRUS UNIVERSITY - LATVIAN PRESIDENT

    Latvian President Vaira Vike Freiberga, in Cyprus on an official visit, has visited the new campus of the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, where she delivered a speech on Education in Europe, Education for Europe. The Latvian President praised the University of Cyprus, saying that it is a good and new university created in the new European situation, where many university exchange programmes for students and academic staff take place.

    The Latvian President noted that coming from small countries like Latvia and Cyprus does not constitute an impediment in doing well in academic affairs. In his welcoming speech, the Vice rector said that the University of Cyprus explores ways to form bilateral links with educational and research institutions in Latvia. He also referred to the Latvian Presidents long and successful academic career.

    The Latvian President analysed the concept of education in Europe from the Roman times until today. She emphasised that concepts like the Erasmus Socrates exchange programmes which exist now in Europe, as well as the Bologna Process, have been known, through the mobility of the students and professors, already during the past times in Europe. This, she said, was a concept enabled by the Lingua Franca, that is the Latin language, which was the language spread in all universities at those times.

    [04] CYPRUS - GSSE GAMES 2009

    Cyprus will play host to the 13th Games of Small States in Europe (GSSE) on 1-7 June 2009. The file of the games was presented yesterday by Kikis Lazarides, President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, in Monaco, where the 12th CSSE start today.

    Eight European states participate in the Monaco games, namely Cyprus, Iceland, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino, Malta, Liechtenstein and Andorra. Montenegro will be added in the 2009 Games in Cyprus.

    Lazarides will be the President of the Organising Committee of the Cyprus games. Luxembourg will host the 2013 GSSE while Iceland will organise the 2015 GSSE.


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